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Jim Carroll Cultural Context: Biographies & Histories

Updated 3 January 2009

These biographies, histories, and other books contain interviews with Carroll or discussions of him in relation to the primary subject matter.

The Virgin of Bennington
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The Virgin of Bennington
Published: 2002
By:
Kathleen Norris
Publisher: Riverhead Books
Description: Norris "traces her coming-of-age as a writer," and in the process describes -- briefly -- her experiences with Jim Carroll and other people significant in Carroll's biography, such as Gerard Malanga and Patti Smith. The chapters dealing with Carroll, titled "To Kathy, Love Jim" and "Tuff Turf," offer a unique, casual portrait of Carroll circa 1968-1973. Additionally, this book provides a broader context for the poetry scene in New York at this time, as Norris's circle of poets revolved more around the 92nd Street Y and the Academy of American Poets.

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Please Kill Me
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Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk
Published: 1997
Eds. Legs McNeil & Gillian McCain
Publisher: Grove
Description: Fascinating history of punk told via interviews with the participants; the only flaw is that it lacks an index! Carroll appears often throughout. The paperback edition includes additional interviews.

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Mapplethorpe
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Mapplethorpe: A Biography
Published: 1997
By: Patricia Morrisroe
Publisher: Random House
Description: An interesting official biography that really pissed off everyone who was close to Mapplethorpe. Carroll offers lots of great stories--some about Robert, most about Patti Smith.

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Patti Smith
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Patti Smith: An Unauthorized Biography
Published: 1999
By: Victor Bockris & Roberta Bayley
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Description: Just what the titles says. Includes various references to Carroll.

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City Poet
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City Poet: The Life and Times of Frank O'Hara
Published: 1993
By: Brad Gooch
Publisher: unknown
Description: Carroll is mentioned briefly as one among a clutch of O'Hara groupies who would trail the poet around the neighborhood, hoping to catch a glimpse or some wisdom.

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No cover art
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We Gotta Get Out of This Place: Popular Conservatism and Postmodern Culture
Published: 1992
By: Lawrence Grossberg
Publisher: Routledge
Description: References The Basketball Diaries in its disussion of the first generation growing up with the constant fear of nuclear annihilation.

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Holy TERROR
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Holy Terror: Andy Warhol Close Up
Published: 1990
By: Bob Colacello
Publisher: Talisman House
Description: Mentions Carroll's attendance at Andrea Feldman's suicide leap.

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Marmalade Me
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Marmalade Me
Published: 1971
By: Jill Johnston
Publisher: Wesleyan UP
Description: In "Tiny Tortures," in Forced Entries, Carroll mentions a review that appeared in the Village Voice. The review is collected in this book--it's the title essay, in fact. More important, Johnston's book provides a wonderful glimpse into the New York arts scene of the late 1960s.

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